A custom coin will let other people know that you belong to a certain unit such as the fire, military, or the police departments. The history of the coin began during World War I when an American soldier presented his custom coin to a French soldier.
1. Duo-tone Metal Custom Coins
A duo-tone metal coin has a thin layer of natural discoloration on its surface. The discoloration is caused by the chemicals and oxygen on its surface. Carbonates, oxides, sulfates, sulfides, and chlorides are chemicals that form on the coin’s surface. The discoloration process will take months to years. The coin will appear more tarnished as its discoloration thickens with time.
It will take centuries for the coin’s color to be darker and least attractive. One way to check the authenticity of a duo-tone metal coin is to check its mirror effect. The mirror effect should not be greatly diminished or lost.
The coin may contain dual metals from gold, copper, silver, or nickel. A duo-tone metal coin with gold is reddish, bright orange, or bright yellow. A duo-tone metal coin with copper is brown, orange, nearly black, or reddish-brown. A duo-tone metal coin with silver is black, bright silver, or brown. A duo-tone metal coin with nickel is musty gray or silver.
2. Black Nickel Metal Custom Coins
A black nickel metal coin has a layer of zinc, cadmium, or nickel. The nickel, cadmium, and zinc protect the coin from corrosion. Any of them can be applied onto the coin by using an electroplating method. The coin can also withstand sudden temperature change.
3. Polished Brass Metal Custom Coins
A polished brass metal coin is coated with lacquer. Lacquer prevents the coin from tarnishing for a long time. You can hold a magnet to the coin to determine if it contains brass. If the coin has brass, the magnet will stick to the coin. Manufacturers use a tarnish remover or metal polish to prevent the coin from tarnishing further.
4. Antique Copper Metal Custom Coins
An antique copper metal coin has copper that’s treated with a bleach or toilet cleaner.A manufacturer will use a sponge to apply the bleach onto the coin’s clean and dry surface. The bleach will dry off after 12 hours. Bleach will be re-applied if the manufacturer isn’t satisfied with the coin’s surface color.
If the manufacturer will use a toilet cleaner to treat the coin, there are 4 steps that should be followed. First, the manufacturer will wipe the coin with a cloth that’s wet with a toilet cleaner. Second, the coin will be left for a day. Third, the manufacturer will gently wash off the coin. Fourth, the manufacturer will let the coin dry before applying clear lacquer on it.
5. Polished Silver Metal Custom Coins
A polished silver metal coin may or may not contain metals like iron, steel, or copper. These metals retain the coin’s shape, especially if the coin is soft. The coin will become tarnished if it won’t be used for a long time. A way to test the coin’s tarnish tendency is to rub your finger or a white cloth tightly over the coin. If the coin leaves dull smudges on your finger or cloth, the coin tends to tarnish. A polished silver metal coin may become shinier or darker if used overtime.
The coin will have a black sulfide layer when it’s exposed to sulfur compounds in the water or air. The coin can also become sturdy when it’s exposed to water or air.You can use a magnet to determine if the coin has polished silver. The coin should be attached to the magnet if it has polished silver. If the magnet does not attach to the coin, the coin has polished stainless steel.
Custom coins are a symbol of the bond you share with fellow unit members, an indicator of the unique experiences you share.